Cathay Pacific CEO Quits to Protect Workers Protesting in HK After the Communist Party Wanted Names
12 July 2018; Rupert Hogg, CEO, Cathay Pacific Airways, on Centre Stage during day three of RISE 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong. Photo by Seb Daly / RISE via Sportsfile
Cathay Pacific former CEO Rupert Hogg complied with Chinese authorities when he was asked to give the names of employees who participated in the protest, but he only gave one: his own.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration pressured the airline to provide all the names of the people involved in the weeks-long Hong Kong protests.
Instead of endangering his employees, the 57-year-old former CEO put down his name on the list, according to Taiwan News.
On August 16, Hogg resigned from his position as CEO of Cathay Pacific, which was first announced to the public by state-run media CCTV but was later confirmed by the airline.
Hogg’s selfless act drew praise from many netizens and managed to attract the attention of Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member Wang Ting-yu who called the former CEO a “True Warrior” in his Facebook post.
“True warriors show the noblest glory of human nature when facing great decisions,” Wang wrote in the heading as translated by Taiwan News.
“He took responsibility for the strike and resigned! He didn’t sell out any Cathay Pacific employees! He took responsibility himself! Please remember the name of this gentleman. Mr. Rupert Hogg! I salute you!”
Wang also likened Hogg’s heroic act to Taiwanese lawyer Tang Te-chang.
Tang reportedly burned the list of names on the Settlement Committee that saved many lives during an anti-government uprising known as the February 28 Incident or the February 28 massacre in 1947. An estimated 5,000 to 28,000 people died in the anti-government uprising.
A week before Hogg’s resignation, Cathay Pacific told its employees the company would never stop them from attending the pro-democracy demonstration. But the former CEO warned them they could be fired if they support or participate in illegal protests, BBC reported.
Cathay Pacific’s new CEO Augustus Tang Kin-wing has distanced himself from any form of corporate resistance to Beijing and tolerance for employee protesters in his statement.
“We must and will ensure 100 percent compliance” with Chinese government aviation demands, he said via Newsweek. “We have made very clear that we have zero tolerance for illegal activities or breaches of our own policies.”